NEW DELHI: Only about half the population in worst Maoist-hit areas have enrolled their names and gave personal information in the just concluded census operations, forcing government to think of launching a special drive in such regions.
In many Naxal-affected areas, the enumerators could not visit the households due to fear of the extremists while in some cases people did not cooperate following Maoist diktat.
“It is just around 50 per cent people who took part in the census. We understand the difficulties faced by people in Maoist areas. Since enrolling people in the census operation is beneficial to them only, we are considering to launch a special drive in such areas,” a Home Ministry official said.
Apart from Naxal threat, there have been misconceived apprehensions in the minds of some habitants in such areas which prevented them from actively taking part in the exercise, he said.
“In some cases, enumerators are even not permitted to enter the houses on some pretext or the other,” the official said, adding the special drive will cover such areas too.
After the house listing and housing census along with collection of data on National Population Register (NPR), unique ID numbers will be provided for each citizen in the country.
The NPR will be a comprehensive identity database that would help in better targeting of benefits and services under the government programmes, improve planning and help strengthen security of the country.
“The ID number will help people get ration under PDS, various development schemes, open bank accounts and in other day-to-day uses,” the official said.
The three month-long Census 2011 in 29 States and Union Territories covering country’s 1.2 billion people was completed on June 30.
According to an estimate, about 40,000 sq km area in Naxal-affected states are under the control of Maoists. Altogether 35 districts in seven states are considered to be worst affected by the menace.
Naxal violence has claimed lives of over 10,000 civilians and security personnel in the last five years—nearly 150 security men this year itself.
Out of a total 10,268 casualties between 2005 and May 2010, 2,372 deaths have been reported in 2009 as against 1,769 in 2008 and 1,737 in 2007.
Besides, Naxals targeted 362 telephone towers, many school buildings, roads, culverts etc in 2009 alone.